How to Find and Keep the Right People: Part 3- Employee Retention

Satisfaction

Employee turnover can be challenging, and for many business owners, an ongoing issue. As difficult as it is to terminate an employee, we often forget how difficult it can be to find ways as a business owner to retain good employees.

Business owners know they must offer competitive compensation packages, benefits, incentives, and bonuses in order to attract strong performers. Retaining them will require some creativity. Here are some suggestions you can use in your business to keep one of your greatest assets from leaving:

Community

Today, particularly with millennials, there is a need and desire to have a sense of being part of a community. Make your office an open and inviting one. Make sure you host regular meetings, ask for input, share good stories, applaud good work and allow them to work collaboratively. Give them a sense of belonging and nurture that with open communication 

Share Your Plan

Make sure your employees understand the big picture, and the purpose they serve in your business. Set aside time to set goals and expectations with them. If your employees understand your plan and know where their future is headed in this position, chances are they will be motivated to stay and reach the goals you’ve set. By doing this, you are showing them opportunity and giving them a role to play in creating the future of your business.

Recognize & Reward

To recognize and reward your employees does not mean doing so just once a year at their annual review. It means continually recognizing achievements by calling them out in a team meeting, sending them a personal letter or card or taking them out for lunch. If you know that employee is a huge concert-goer, make a point to buy them tickets to a concert they’d like to attend. Communicate your gratitude and never let hard work go unnoticed.

Fun Factor

A flexible work schedule, and creating a ‘fun factor’ could also prove a beneficial incentive for your employees. Every workplace is different, so discuss with your team some ideas of what they would like to have as a fun factor and then you can decide which idea is feasible and appropriate for your business.

Do you have any other tips for employee retention you would like to share? How important have you found a sense of community to be in your office?

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How To Find and Keep the Right People: Part 1- Finding The Right People

pgAs a business owner, I’ve had my fair share of experience in on boarding and exiting staff. One of the biggest challenges in business is finding the right people to help your business succeed. No matter the size, industry or type of company you run, this has proved to be a common problem that many business owners experience everyday all around the globe.

Today, most job postings are online, but knowing if you are posting in the right places to target the types of candidates you are looking for, is key to your success. I have outlined below a few key locations you might want to consider for posting your job.

Social Media
Social media is a great method for posting job ads online. This is a cost effective method that is sure to reach a wide audience. LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for either posting for free or taking advantage of their paid job-posting feature. LinkedIn is especially useful for attracting candidates who have an education and are searching for salaried careers rather than part time hourly work. If you are a B2C business you may also want to engage with your audience on Facebook or Twitter.

Indeed, Kijiji, Craigslist
Other forms of free online posting may include job boards like Indeed, Kijiji and Craigslist. These allow you to post to a wide range of audiences, but like social media you will have to filter through many irrelevant resumes of unqualified candidates before you find a qualified one.

University/College Career Sites
University and College Career sites are also another useful online option to consider. Your advertisements are sure to reach a variety of current students in a range of different studies. The downfall with posting in school career sites is in addition to those graduating students who are looking for full time work, you may also get students applying to full time positions when they still have years of their program to complete.

Placement Agency
There are currently a wide variety of placement or recruitment agencies, some of which even cater to specific industries. The good news is that they pre-screen, and interview your candidates so you are presented with only the best of the bunch. Downside is that this option can get very pricy.

Your Network
Think about all of your business contacts, colleagues, friends and even family. Cast your net and see if they know of anyone looking for the type of position you have available.

Business Website
Don’t forget to post on your own website in the careers section or a link on your contact us page to the job description. You have an audience, who is already familiar with your brand, let them know you are looking to hire new talent!

What it really comes down to is finding the best method that works for you and your business. Once you’ve found your method and are happy with your choice of potential candidates it is time to interview. How should you interview? What testing should you include in your recruitment process? Should you include testing? Stay tuned for part 2 of the How to Find and Keep the Right People blog series.


When to Manage and When to Coach – Recognizing the Difference

prop-motivatingAs a business owner, you wear many hats, two of the most important being “manager” and “coach”. What I’ve noticed most business owners have trouble with is differentiating between the two roles, and when exactly to wear each hat.

There is a very clear difference between managing and coaching, and it is important to recognize the distinction in order for your company and employees to achieve success under your leadership. So what is this apparent difference exactly?

In the simplest sense, managing is all about directing. As a manager, you are telling others what needs to be done, how to do it, and when it needs to be completed. You have a specific outcome in mind, and you are directing a group whose purpose is to achieve it.

Coaching, on the other hand, is all about facilitation. Your purpose is to create a relationship with your employees as a guide and mentor, working towards long-term improvement and a number of outcomes.

While a manager and a coach may have the same authority, the way they approach each situation varies greatly. While managing, you’re concerned with the strategy and planning, delegating the tasks to the appropriate people. While coaching, you are present, providing encouragement, support, and making suggestions/revisions along the way.

So at what point do you wear each hat? They’re both effective under different circumstances. When facing stressful deadlines or crisis situations, acting as manager is what’s needed. When you are building your team and focusing on your staff’s development, you are coaching them.

A combination of these two styles is ideal, and by evaluating the task at hand first and the individuals involved second, you can then decide on your management style. Managing an employee who is new or unfamiliar with a task makes sense, while coaching your experienced staff can assist in developing their growth.

In what situations do you find it difficult to distinguish between the leadership styles and which to use? Share your questions or concerns in the comments.


Benefits of Team Building

o-TEAM-BUILDING-facebookAs a business advisor, a common question I’m often asked is if team-building activities are actually important. The answer is a resounding yes. You may not realize it, but you may be doing yourself a disservice as a business owner by not taking the time to focus on building the strength of the relationships between your team members.

It is no secret that a cohesive team of employees leads to greater success for any business. Why exactly? I’ve outlined below a few key benefits of team building that are worth considering:

  • Increased Trust
    • When you have a team that is constantly working together, a mutual trust between all employees will make every process much smoother. Employees are able to depend on one another and become more productive as a result of trust.
  • Greater Communication
    • A team that can’t communicate will never get anywhere fast. While everyone has different styles of communicating, understanding these differences will make your team more efficient and better functioning overall.
  • Greater Collaboration
    • An “every man for themselves” mentality is detrimental to a successful team. Creating strong bonds between your employees will help them realize the interdependency of the team and appreciate the collaborative opportunities available to them.
  • Easier Conflict Resolution
    • Team building is a great way for your employees to get to know one another on a more personal level. With large groups, you’re bound to have varying personalities, and team-building activities are the best way to become accustomed to each other’s dispositions.

There are a variety of team building activities to choose from that focus on these specific outcomes. While you try to make team-building fun, you want to ensure that the takeaways of the activities directly influence your employees working environment, so your team members recognize the benefits of participating.

As a business owner, it is vital to pay attention to your employees and understand what team dynamics they may be lacking, and react accordingly, after all your employees are the core of any successful business.

What is your favourite team building activity, and how did it influence your team dynamic? Share your experiences with me in the comments!


Are You Self-Employed or a Business-Owner?

the_office_30529Are you self-employed or do you consider yourself a business owner? The difference between these two titles is often difficult to navigate, as it can be much more than the amount of people you employ. While neither title is more accomplished than the other, you may want to ask yourself “what do I really want to be doing in my role in the coming years?” Do you want to continue to grow your tactical skills set, or manage those who carry out the work of your business?

As I have discussed in many of my previous blogs, owning your own business regardless takes discipline, hard work, but most importantly, direction.  Clarifying what type of business will help you in creating your vision and setting the stage for growth plans moving forward.

I’ve outlined below two sets of questions, aimed at helping you bring clarity to your business.  Try to keep track of how many you answer “yes” or “no” to so you can tally your sores at the end of the exercise.

1.

Did you require an investment to begin your business?

Could your business run for a month without you?

Do you require formal marketing and promotion to gain new clients?

Is your role focused around expanding your business?

Is having an office space required for running your business?

2.

Is your location flexible? Mobile?

Do you make decisions around demands of your industry?

Are you carrying out the work of your business yourself?

Do you trade hours for dollars?

Does business run according to the output of your skills?

Do you harvest multiple business opportunities and tasks?

If you answered, “yes” to more questions in Set #1, you consider yourself to be more of a business owner, where you are taking steps to grow your business and have it run independently of your direct effort. If you answered, “yes” to more questions in Set #2, you may consider yourself to be self-employed and prefer to hone your craft and increase your skills set to reach your audience.

Whether you are a business owner or self-employed, what kind of role do you want to play in your business in years to come? Would you like to eventually be more hands-off? Or continue to be the driving force behind your business’s success? I look forward to your thoughts below!